We have never made a welding table... But blanchard ground table tops for
drilling fixtures are a plenty... Would you like to see some PDF drawings
reply here or directly to me with an e-mail address and I'll shoot you
ome. - or anyone for that matter... Just let me know.
Otherwise, you can check out
and their "Brute
Machine Bases" for some VERY nice tables.
Seen a lot of shop made welding tables. Don't recall ever seeing one
made from drawings. Just a big ol' slab of metal with some pipe
legs. Couldn't get more detailed than that unless I know what you're
welding. If you put that D-8 cat block on it and it collapses then
make 'er a bit beefyer next time.
Or maybe your talking about a brick stand for gas welding?
I made a small welding table out of a square piece of steel, with a
small piece of angle welded to the bottom. I simply mount it in a vise
(which grips that piece of angle) when I need to weld.
I plan a bigger welding table and will make it the same way.
I had a 30" square piece of 3/8" plate steel which I used for about 15 years as
a welding table, still do. For a long time I'd just set the plate on top of a
used 55 gallon drum when I wanted to weld. I made some cool projects with it,
here's a surface plate stand:
The welding table is right behind the project in the picture. You can also see
my little buzzbox welder in its cage. In those days I had a long cord which ran
inside to the dryer outlet.
Nowadays I still use that plate but on a much more solid stand I scrounged. When
I need a bigger table I use the shop floor. When I have to build a large frame,
for example if I were going to build a 5x10' utility trailer, I'd use 2 steel
sawhorses with 7 foot pieces of 3-1/2" square tube tacked to the tops. I set the
sawhorses up and get each sawhorse level, don't worry about level the other way.
(That's a Randy Z trick.)
Igor's idea about a tiny welding table held in a vise is an excellent one. Ernie
has one like that and says it's the one he uses the most.
I don't believe in large monolithic welding tables unless you have a huge
outside yard you can keep it in with protection from the weather. Space is just
too expensive these days. Of course, if you have a huge old barn with nothing
but space, go for it.
Mine is a very different style, I use it all day every day, and it
really works great for what I do. I put two shots in the drop box
weldingtable.txt and weldingtable1&2.jpg. Sorry about the photo quality.
I built one that bears a certain resemblance to Grant's surface plate stand,
at least the lower part. I welded four pieces of 3 in. thin wall square
tubing to a piece of 5/16 inch steel, about 20 x 30 in. Then I welded four
pieces of 1/2 x 2 in. tubing between them, about halfway down as bracing. I
made four plates, appropriately drilled for casters, and welded them on the
bottoms of the legs (see Grant's picture). Finally, I bolted a cheap HF
vise to one corner and covered the rest of the surface with 1" thick
firebrick, welding 1/2 square tubing around the edge to hold the firebrick
I built this about six years ago and am fairly happy with it. It is easy to
"park" out of the way when it's not being used (my shop is extremely
crowded) and to roll out when I need it or need the space where it usually
The one downside is that the brick surface is not perfectly flat, so I keep
a couple scraps of decent sized 1/2" thick plates I can put under a joint
that needs to be precise and clamp the work, plate and all to the top of the
table, supporting the ends of the work as necessary with wooden blocks and
wedges. Works good...
That is one hell of a table. It is a little over the top for my needs.
I just picked up an old Heliarc 250 HF to replace my old Sears cracker
box. I now finally have TIG capability. 8^)
I am just a retired tinkerer and I'd just like to cobble together a
decent table for some of my projects. Most of the plans I found on the
Net looked pretty light weight. I figured I'd probably end up with a
scrounged piece of plate, but I'd like to add some features. Hence the
request to steal some good ideas.
Thanks to all
Stuart Wheat> JayCups wrote:
Jay, it is difficult to advise you on this because of the many different
types of welding.
My table is 1/4 x 2" angle iron. It is ten feet long, four feet wide. It
has four lengthwise rails, and two end pieces, making the top have six
pieces. I have one rail 12" off the edge, and the other 18".
I have hangers under the table for tools, especially of my own design. I
will try to get a pic in the dropbox soon.
I mainly make a lot of wrought iron, so this is a wrought iron table. I
have seen lots and lots of welding tables, and one size does not fit all.
Mainly you want something that is strong, versatile, and that will go along
with what you do. Many times, this has to be made from the experiences
within the head of the person going to use it. Sometimes, all you need is a
flat piece of plate.
Tinker with your thoughts. Think what you would like to use it for. How
much does it have to support? How big are the pieces? Does it have to be
long and flat, like to make gates or fence panels? Think about those
things, and you will be closer to your table.
HTH, and will get that photo in the dropobox.
Sits 4' X 4' and 32" high
Rolls on 4" phenolic casters very easy and stays put when I screw the
machine levelers down to meet the ground and lift the table slightly.
I left plenty of edge so I can use my clamps without a lot of hassle.
If I ever get around to doing this again I'm going to split this in half
and make them 2 X 4 and be able to lock them together when needed.
1/4". It is fastened with flat head bolts, countersunk. I didn't want it
welded on in case I decided to go to either a larger table or a thicker top.
It's on casters so I can move it away from the wall for larger projects.
It has worked very well for a little over 15 years.
It pretty much goes without saying that the bench you need will depend on
the work you do. production welders have very different needs from guys who
tinker. the type of things you weld, as well as their size will determine
the type of bench you need. Here are a few random ideas, some are obviously
appropriate only for a big shop;
bigger is better. if your bench isnt small enough to pick up, then bigger
is better, as long as you can resist the urge to pile it high with junk ;-)
some of the benches i've worked on have been as big as 10'x10'. it is
really nice to be able to put big heavy things up there to work on, but then
you'll probably want a gantry too... you can build one cheaply, using an
electric 12V boat hoist, with a 2:1 block.
thicker is better. get the thickest plate you can afford. you'll never
regret it. If you can move your bench without a forklift, its probably not
thick enough. forget 1/4", it will buckle and warp in no time. 1/2" whould
be considered as an absolutel minimum thickness for the top. most work
benches Ive had have been 1" thick or in a few cases 2". The thicker the
material, the more likely it is to keep its shape, and stand up to abuse.
it can also take a lot more of a pounding without flexing.
straighter is better. an uneven bench will quickly frustrate you. take the
time when building your bench to get the material as flat as you possibly
can. when you are building frames, or other objects, you will have a much
easier tome of things if the entire surface is flat. for production work,
consider spatter; laying 1/4" or 1/2" 'spacers' under the entire job will
keep it flat much more surely than laying it directly on the bench, for
obcious reasons. the bench surface is really just the 'datum'. if you have
got big money, it is worthwhile paying to have the entire surface trued.
Ive only had one bench like this. it was really great.
level is better. this one really is important. if your bench is really
heavy, it should pretty much stay where it is. if it isnt heavy, bolt it
down once its level. this really makes easy work out of building
medium-large frames and pipework because it increases your options for
squareness. you can use a square, or a level. if you need an exact angle
on something, you can use a digital angle level.
knick knacks; if you do a lot of frame work, it may be worth your while to
fit a 'rail' to two sides of your bench. you can easily clamp material to
it (after sitting it on spacers to keep it off the bench surface) and knock
up dead square, dead true, dead even frames in very little time. this is
simple and brilliant.
if you have the time and the patience, you can scribe out your whole
benchtop in a grid. professionally made benches i have used have machined
scribe lines ever 10mm with color coded lines every 50mm, and are marked out
with their measurements. this makes it really fast, accurate and easy to
lay out work without the need for 'ok, check length, check square, check
diagonals, looking good, now pick up welder, nod helmet down, weld, oh
crap... earth lead wasnt on... now ive bumped it! now i have to set up
again...' having the grid makes it simple to layout parallel, or square and
gives you a very fast visual on locating parts and whether they are all
to keep a ballance of having a nice clear bench with the need for things
fixed to it, use a slotting system. it doesnt need to be fancy. use large
diameter SHS for the legs (2" or 3") and make sure you can buy the next size
down of the same material, and that it is a really snug fit inside. then
build the frame for the bench, and cut out the corners of the benchtop over
the top of the legs (making sense here?) now get those cutouts and weld
them onto the smaller SHS, so when you slide them back in you have a really
nice looking bench, but when you take them out, you have holes you can use.
now use the smaller SHS material to make mounts for your bench grinder,
drill, vise, etc etc. you can make a rack to store all these under the
If you do a lot of production work, you probably have jigs. i have all my
jigs on a piece of pipe, and it nests inside a larger piece of pipe as with
the SHS legs. I have a hole cut in my bench with a piece of the larger pipe
(the female) welded underneath it. each jig has the smaller pipe welded to
it (the male) with a 1" long piece of the larger pipe welded onto it to
limit how far the male goes into the female. now all my jigs can rotate.
this saves a lot of strain at work, especially with heavy items. While jig
making is a seperate subject, you can angle the jigs in such a way that all
the parts locate themselves by gravity, and require minimal clamping.
locating pins etc on the down side only. now all spatter rolls off
automatically, saving clean up time.
if you do a lot of pipe work, having a rotator is excellent. even a manual
one. you can build a manual rotator pretty cheaply. mount it in a bit of
SHS so it goes in the slot on your bench
i once had a job where they let me use a custom built 'jigging bench' this
was a real treat... it was like a supersized version of a milling bed, with
T-slots, and a grid layed out, the surface fully true. the surface was
treated with some form of anti spatter material... nothing ever stuck to
it. it was so fast to setup for prototyping, there was a large supply of
inserts with clamps, angle adjustments etc that just clamped right in. one
guy on the nightshift welded something into the table to make a jig one
day.... he was instantly fired. Im not sure how much that table cost, but
probably more than a years wages for me. you may be able to re-use this
idea on a smaller scale.
if you only do small jobs, an old mill table off a broken mill may be just
the bench for you. they are a great surface to work on. if you're needs
are very specialized, you may find you can get an appropriate bench from
somewhere else. A friend who only welded bicycle and motorbike frames by
gas welding had an old lathe bed as his bench, and it was perfect for him.
it was dead true, and he made up special locking clamps to hold things in
finally, treat your bench well. any surface can be used for welding, but a
benches true use is in its surface as an accurate datum, for fabricating and
locating work easily and consistently. dont weld things to your bench, dont
use it when your mig wire is too long to just shorten the wire instead of
cutting the wire off. dont use it to test your welder settings. dont grind
it or cut it. keep the surface clean and true; have a little holder for
pliers to cut your wire, have a little bin on the side for all your wire
scraps. have a little broom chained to the bench. a good bench is a source
of pride, and a measure of your workmanship
Gunner, 4x9 welding table..and needs the fork lift to move it.
A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical liberal minority and
rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media,
which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible
to pick up a turd by the clean end.
Okay, so I'm late and catching up, but Gunner wrote
on Sat, 24 Feb 2007 20:07:53 GMT in rec.crafts.metalworking :
I've heard it said that the difference between the hobbyist and the
serious "amateur" (one who does something for the love of it), is that the
hobbyist will get the smallest whatever that will do the task, the serious
amateur will get the biggest one which will fit available space. Welding
tables, sewing machines, lathes, mills, band saws, kitchen mixers,
whatever. Get the biggest one which will fit, or you can afford. You
won't have to "upgrade" later. (OTOH, if you aren't serious, it will just
be more stuff for the estate sale.)